If you thought there was something fishy about the government’s claim that Nissan’s decision to invest in the UK was based on their assurances about how well they’re going to handle Brexit (duh), you were right.
I listened with jaw hanging to various ministers and spokespersons dancing around the direct question of ‘what did you offer them?’ from various interviewers and thought it couldn’t have been much more obvious that they were hiding something.
Turns out it could. The OBR (Office of Budget Responsibility), in preparing the report that Chancellor Philip Hammond used as the basis for his Autumn Statement non-event this week, held dozens of ‘scrutiny and challenge’ meetings with governmental departments.
Including the Treasury.
In order to understand the country’s current and forecast financial positions, the OBR clearly needs to understand what liabilities (monies owed) and ‘contingent liabilities’ (potential monies owed) the government has incurred.
Here’s what the OBR said about its discussion with the Treasury about any contingent liabilities with regard to the government’s assurances to Nissan:
In other words, the OBR asked “are we likely to owe anyone any money in respect of your promises to Nissan?” and the government said “We’re not telling you”.
To the organisation the government created to be responsible for holding it to account on its fiscal responsibilities.
If the unimaginable growth of the national debt under this government – more in 6 years than under every Labour government in history – isn’t enough to nail the lie of the Tories ‘economic credibility’, this should hammer it tightly into its coffin.
Long term economic plan? Long term economic scam, more like.
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